Arrive in Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital divided by the Danube River. Transfer to the deluxe Hilton Budapest (or similar), in Buda’s Castle District.* Take the rest of the day to relax and sample some Hungarian cuisine.
After breakfast, you have free time to enjoy a walk through Pest and do some shopping along the Váci Utca; cross the Danube via the famous Chain Bridge to explore the hillier Buda neighborhoods. Tour the Hungarian National Gallery, the Bartók Museum or one of the thermal baths. A Viking concierge is available to help you plan your Budapest visit. In the afternoon, join a walking tour of Andrássy Avenue, where you will discover both well-known and hidden treasures of Budapest’s most elegant thoroughfare. (B)
After breakfast, enjoy the morning at leisure before transferring to your ship in the afternoon. After you get settled in your stateroom, you have free time to relax or take a stroll beside the Danube; a welcome dinner is served aboard. (B, D)
Your morning begins with a panoramic tour of the Pest side of the city. See gracious 19th- and 20th-century mansions, the National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Stop in Heroes’ Square to learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Walk up the hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church; enjoy brilliant views. Rejoin your ship in Visegrád for lunch as we begin cruising along the scenic Danube River. Enjoy a midafternoon Viennese coffee workshop, complete with apple strudel. (B, L, D)
Arrive in Vienna just after breakfast for your half-day city tour. See some of Vienna’s gracious architecture, then ride along the beautiful Ringstrasse with sights including the Opera House, Stadtpark and Hofburg Theater. You then see St. Stephan’s Cathedral. After lunch aboard, the afternoon is yours to further explore this city on your own. Shop along the Kärtnerstrasse or take an optional excursion to Schönbrunn Palace, home of Maria Theresa and summer residence of the Habsburgs. Dinner is served aboard and you may choose to complete your day in this “City of Waltzes” with an optional evening concert. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, sail through the stunningly scenic Wachau Valley to the Benedictine abbey at Melk, and join a guided tour through the ornate interior of this baroque architectural gem. See its elaborate frescoes and admire the library’s extensive collection of medieval manuscripts; enjoy the garden courtyard and the terrace’s Wachau Valley views. Rejoin your ship for dinner and leisurely cruising along the Danube—taste some local Austrian specialties as you spot charming riverside towns and castle ruins here and there. (B, L, D)
Enjoy a glorious morning arrival in Passau, at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube Rivers. Your guided walk along the town’s narrow streets takes you through the Old Town and past traditional patrician houses. You see the Oberhaus Fortress and visit the impressive baroque St. Stephan’s Cathedral with its ornate interior. Inside, you are treated to a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ, considered Europe’s largest church organ.† Eat lunch aboard, but return to the city for further exploration on your own before an early evening departure and cruise through the night. (B, L, D)
†Passau organ concert not available after November 1.
After breakfast, meet your guide dockside for a walking tour through the scenic town of Regensburg, considered one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities. See one of the largest groupings of 13th- and 14th-century church spires, towers and patrician houses north of the Alps. You also encounter the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral and a number of idyllic courtyards. Take time to stroll the streets, shop or visit Germany’s oldest restaurant, the Alte Wurstküche. Lunch served aboard.
This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising along the Danube River—or take an optional Danube Gorge excursion. Travel by road to Kelheim and board a ferryboat to the Danube Gorge’s dramatic scenery and spectacular 400-foot chalk cliffs. Visit Weltenburg Abbey, renowned for the dark ale brewed here by monks since 1050, then rejoin your ship in Kelheim in time for dinner aboard. (B, L, D)
Day 9Main-Danube Canal & Nuremberg
Very early this morning, you sail through a number of locks that comprise the Main-Danube Canal, an engineering marvel stretching 106 miles from Bamberg on the Main River to Kelheim on the Danube. Begun as Charlemagne’s dream in 793, it was completed in 1992 with 16 locks that raise the water level 1,332 feet. Today it enables river travel from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
Arrive during breakfast in Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city. Your tour features the former Nazi parade grounds and the Palace of Justice, historic home of the Nuremberg Trials; or, join an optional World War II history tour visiting the Documentation Center Museum. You have a brief stop at the Court House before returning to the Old Town area enclosed by ancient city walls.
Your tour ends with a walk from the imperial castle grounds past the Albrecht Dürer House on your way to the Main Market Square with its elaborate Gothic fountain. Lunch is served aboard, but you have the rest of the day to explore. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, disembark and take a ride to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. We will take you to your hotel, located near the historic Old Town and the shopping district, for check-in. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own and sample some of the hearty local cuisine. This evening, see the city’s monuments, like the National Theatre, Prague Castle and the famous Charles Bridge, beautifully illuminated. (B)
Begin the day with a panoramic tour of Prague, followed by a free afternoon and evening to visit some of the city’s landmarks or museums. A Viking host is available to help you plan your time in Prague so you can make the most of your visit. This evening, go out on the town for a traditional Czech dinner in a local restaurant. (B, D)
You have a full day to further explore Prague. See more of the Old Town or check out some of Prague’s more modern sights like the Frank Gehry-designed Dancing House, an unusual office building inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Walk across the Charles Bridge, see the mesmerizing Astronomical Clock and the poignant Lennon Wall, and stand in historic Wenceslas Square. Wander past the colorful cottages in Golden Lane, where Franz Kafka lived and worked. Or in Josefov, see the 13th-century Altneushul, Europe’s oldest active synagogue. (B)
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* (B)
The following meals are included:
B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
*Please note: Airport transfers are only included if the Viking air offer is purchased and the arrival/departure city and date on your Viking issued air ticket coincides with the cruisetour start/finish city and date. Otherwise, an additional charge will apply, or you may arrange your own transportation.